Chaos on transit platforms erupted into anger and fist throwing by fans traveling to and from MetLife Stadium, the venue for Super Bowl XLVIII.On Sunday, Superbowl attendees were encouraged by organizers to use public transportation to mitigate traffic congestion and make their day more free flowing. Unfortunately, the 28,000 people who bought transit tickets to the Meadowlands were far more than organizers had expected, which caught security personnel at the train stations woefully unprepared. “We completely lost control,” a stadium security guard told the Daily News.
“Secaucus [New Jersey] was chaos. There was no guard rail or barrier to get in line so people were fighting and yelling at each other. Finally they sent three cops up to try and handle the situation, but we are talking thousands of people just trying to get onto the platform for the next train — there was no organization,” Los Angeles-based Broncos fan Krysten Peek told The Hollywood Reporter. She continued, saying that, “It was so easy at Penn Station [NYC terminal], they had 20 volunteers, but then you get off at Secaucus and it was like they forgot there was a Super Bowl that day. I couldn’t believe it!” Krysten finally got to her seat to watch the game after three hours of commuting and withstanding five different security check points.
Peek, a sports media professional, who goes to many high-profile sporting events admitted that, “I have never heard of people talk about the transportation issues like this. There was such a sense of urgency to get in.” Actually, with the average ticket costing $1,800, commuting delays might make one a bit anxious. The tension on the train platforms grew as game time drew closer. Kristan explained that, “The first train was at 1:30 p.m. — that was packed — then the next was at 2:30. Anyone who left after that would have missed the beginning of the game because it took so long to get there.”
The soon-to-be-disappointed Bronco’s fan further explained that, when the frantic passengers finally got to the stadium, they were greeted by “airport-style checkpoints” and long lines with more security stops along the way. Peek understands that NYC is a high risk target, “but that was ridiculous. I was so sick of standing in line after line after line.”
After the game, fans emptied the stadium quickly. Many did not stay for the Lombardi trophy presentation, anticipating what was in store for them on the way home. “This is the worst place to host a Super Bowl ever,” said Ryan Beall, 30, of Seattle. “Fifty cities could have handled this better. Logistically, this is terrible. New Jersey should be embarrassed.”
Hearty fans who waited around to watch the presentation had 70-minute waits on windy train platforms. The bedlam at the Meadowlands didn’t deter viewers at home, where a a record-setting 111.5 million people watched the Seahawks trounce the Broncos 48-3, making it the most-watched program in U.S. television history.